Scope

Being inclusive is not a natural act or decision for most. I find the my self struggles to decisions to include everyone in something because I am tightly holding onto the concepts of qualifications, rights, maturity, paying dues, and age. There are so many things that disqualify someone from being able to handle, qualified to participate, or even mature enough to listen! The scope of any opportunity is bound by the qualifications of those who are able to participate as part of the process.

I am so glad that God doesn’t uniformly endorse this logic! God’s allies come in all sorts of colors, shapes, ages, maturity levels, and packages. Some are intellectually smart, others are compassionate. Everyone comes with something to add to the equation and mix, even if it isn’t what you or I think would be the best or most appropriate. read more

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Intent

Rediscovering what you really enjoy, what work most touches your soul, and where life moves into a “zone” is something that everyone needs to experience. Yesterday was, for me, one of those days. I can say that by the end of the day I was – I’m searching for the right word – totally “knackered”. I found the process to be regenerating while at the same time totally exhausting. By the time my friends left I was really for a hot shower and bed!

There are days in life when one wonders what one is intended to do. Divinity didn’t just place us here to play around and then die. There is a purpose if only we could discover what it is! I believe that the purpose is both generalized and personalized. We all have broad principles that define our intent and mission while at the same time there is a calling by God to a mission that is uniquely tailored to your competencies and the world around you. Yesterday was, for me, one of those discovery days. read more

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Solitaire

Since solitaire was introduced as a standard game on personal computers the number of people playing the game has jumped dramatically. In additional to exposing a whole new generation to the game the process empowered people to pick up a deck of cards and play the game where and when they like, with and without a computer. When one plays with cards instead of a computer there is a subtle difference that tests everyone. With playing cards you can cheat and nobody knows! Nobody except your self; we can include God but that isn’t really my focus. We can play the game, take shortcuts, and nobody is looking over our shoulders to hold us to account. We can “win” by whatever means we want to and winning feels good! We can create our own set of rules and achieve what we most desire, satisfaction! We are number 1! We are the best! We conquered all! read more

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Experience

Expectant first time parents, especially fathers, have no idea of what they are getting into. As much I might try to walk them into the experience, give the a sense of the awe, trauma, beauty, fear, and love that will transcend anything they have experienced in their lives so far, there is little that they can grasp in concrete terms. It is as if they can see part of the experience, a piece of their new reality, but not the whole.

The gaps transcend parenthood. I can only imagine driving a formula one car or piloting a fighter jet. Thinking of possibilities brings wonder, fear, and a sense that I am imaging something that has little to do with the waiting experience. Everything is like a newborn; I thought I knew before Carli arrived, I know now that I was totally, completely, and wonderfully clueless. read more

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Then versus Now

As competitive as I am I am not competitive enough to compete at world class levels even if my body was willing and able. I know that because I have seen what sports requires of its athletes at that level. I do not have the willingness to make the necessary sacrifices between now and then. Does this lack of self centeredness extend into other areas of my life? Do others suffer from the same constraint?

BBC Sport highlights some of the more obscure sports on any given Sunday. Yesterday’s program included the indoor rowing championships. As I tuned in I was expected a indoor stadium with at least two rowing lanes. Obviously it had to be large. I couldn’t figure out how they were going to normalize the conditions for those participating. Imagine my reaction when I discovered that the competition was going to be a hundred or so rowing machines hooked up to a common computer! No boats. No water. No competition that were one on one; it was just exercise machines and sweating young men. read more

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Benefits

I had a dream last night. Believers and unbelievers, in other words just people, sat around and has an honest discussion about Divinity. It was one of those Kodak moments where true dialogue was present. People were listening to learn, exchanging ideas, and looking to build a better future for one and all. Everything seemed real, possible, and probable.

At some point I woke up to the cold creeping dawn. The questions and morning cynicism hung like a mist as it they were patiently waiting for me to either deal with them or yet again try to pretend that they did not exist. Why is it that we, I in the center, are so not able to deal with the reality of living in this world? Is the risk of confronting our personal demons and fears so great that we deny any other possible view or belief that others might have? Do we understand the potential of working together? read more

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New

The Tories seem to have little public memory for their most recent leadership. It is as if months, no years have passed and history is at best a distant memory. The transition was full of consternation, most of it played out publicly in the press. Once the leadership rebellion had successfully achieved a change nobody was sure what to do! They needed someone like Joel to explain their position.

“Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your God. He's giving you a teacher to train you how to live right—Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do.” (Joel 2.23) read more

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Life

Embedded in life is a cycle of birth, growth, maturity, and death. The cycle repeats itself in the seasons, through the life cycles of plants and animals, and in our own lives. As strong as the evidence all around us the prospect of this cycle when is comes to each individually and personally is at best daunting and at worst numbing and life stopping. Yet it is in accepting and embracing this cycle that we are free to really live.

I don’t think much about the shortness of life. It isn’t that I avoid it; I think that I focus my energies singularly on the moment in which I live. I want to learn lessons from yesterday and release fears about tomorrow so that I can live in the grace of each moment. I find myself confronted with my own reality through the end of another’s life. While I am not paralyzed I am drawn into a period of intense introspection. The process reaffirms the values, priorities, and mission most dear, brings memories of the gifts of mercy and acceptance that the individual has given, and delivers a profound sense of sadness. The sadness is because I rarely get the opportunity to share my reflection with the individual that I am lifting up to God in thanks. read more

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Reaction

It is hard to watch one of the major political parties in the UK self destruct. The process is so clear and obvious that even the party faithful talk openly about the threat. It began almost as soon as the opposition came into power almost eight years ago even if the awareness of the rot within wasn’t obvious to all involved. In the past few weeks there has been a party revolt.

History remembered is rarely kind. Individuals tend to be blind to their past, exclusively remembering the good and better. At the same time, our natural tendency is to forget while putting the good news of others into a bin of forgetfulness. We gather their failures, mistakes, and moments of embarrassment. Usually the memories rest as idle trivia. It is as if they float listlessly, wandering our minds without a home. When success or change occurs we react. read more

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Allies

We have seen allies at work, usually during times of war. Far less frequently we talk about the relationship between countries in terms of sharing common goals, approaches, or a view on a particular issue. I find myself reacting to the word as a singular event, not something that lasts forever. I am allied with a person, company, or a cause for a period of time, then it passes and I return to standing alone, battling the odds.

Ideally a long term marriage relationship is one where the two are allies. The capabilities of two or more are far greater than the singular sum of individuals. Yet, in too many cases, those involved in relationship find themselves at odds, fighting within as intensely as any effort expended against without. There are cases where allies remain trusted friends through decades. Part of their secret is a willingness to trust that the other will take care of what normally would be dealt with individually. This trust frees the relationship and leverages the skills, competencies, and strengths of the one for the benefit of both. The heart and soul of this process is experiential trust. read more

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